Sun Rolls Out Its New Effort to Gain Edge Over 2 Rivals "The strategy at Sun is absolutely the right thing to do," Mr. Gillett said, "but they are doing it from a much weaker position than I.B.M. or Hewlett-Packard."
The challenge Sun faces is over the long haul. Sun's fortunes have reversed sharply since the boom years. Its stock price has fallen from $64 a share in September 2000 to $3.07 last Friday, down 17 cents for the day. Still, the company's losses last quarter were mainly write-offs on the value of acquisitions the company made during the bubble years. Sun sits on nearly $5 billion in cash and net receivables.
Laura Conigliaro, an analyst at Goldman, Sachs & Company, observed that Sun was the second-largest seller of big computers to the corporate market, after I.B.M., and that Sun had a large base of customers using its technology who were not about to switch anytime soon.
"But the real issue for Sun," Ms. Conigliaro said, "is how does it claim of position of influence in the industry for the long term."
The product announcements, Sun says, point toward its future path. "The essence of Sun is still an engineering and technology company," said Shahin Khan, Sun's chief competitive officer. "And we'll solve business problems for customers with integrated technology more than our competitors."
(Nice to see Steve Lohr write "GNU Linux" instead of "Linux"; I hope that's a trend)